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A New Solution To Clean Energy That Creates Jobs Is Closer Than You Think


4 minute read

Grant Strem grew up in Calgary, where he attended the U of C to pursue a degree in Geology, followed by a Masters in Geology and Geophysics, specializing in Reservoir Characterization. A former oil and gas sector employee, Grant’s interest in science, space propulsion systems and extreme oxidation processes led him to his current position as Chairman and CEO of Proton Technologies Inc.

A local Calgary company launched in 2015, Proton Technologies is currently at the forefront of tech development in the global energy sector. Unearthing the latest in green energy, Proton’s team of experts is exploring a new approach to clean, affordable energy called Hygenic Earth Energy (HEE). This technology has the potential to alter the course of the climate crisis while simultaneously revitalizing the Canadian oil and gas industry.

According to Proton Technologies, a significant amount of oil remains in the ground following production due to a number of factors that make it inaccessible or too expensive to recover. With Hygenic Earth Energy, these abandoned reservoirs, whether they be light or heavy oil, gas, or coal beds, will be repurposed to produce pure hydrogen with absolutely zero emissions.

Hygenic Earth Energy is the result of a Proton Technologies Inc. patented technology in which oxygen is injected into petroleum reservoirs causing a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of heat. This thermal energy then breaks apart existing water molecules, separating hydrogen from oxygen, which then passes through a specialized hydrogen filter known as a palladium membrane. As a result of the membrane, all other gases remain trapped underground, meaning this process effectively yields pure hydrogen with zero emissions, at a fraction of the cost. While the majority of hydrogen production currently comes from Steam Methane Reformers and ranges between $2 and $3 USD/kg, Proton estimates they will be producing hydrogen for the chemical industry, as well as transportation and power generation purposes, for less than $0.50 USD/kg once systems have been fully optimized.

According to Dr. Ian Gates, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, HEE has the potential to “change the entire basis for energy on this planet”.

This technology offers a timely and unique compromise between political concerns of the right and the left in Canada. As an economically viable, zero emissions source for clean energy, the potential impact on the climate crisis is extensive. At the same time, if implemented at a large scale, this technology could act as an adrenaline shot to Canadian oil and gas by repurposing abandoned wells and adding jobs to the industry. According to Strem, “All the same skills are needed – from geophysicists to pipefitters and rig hands,” and infrastructure is already in place to house workers and facilitate a relatively smooth transition.

“Nothing will be as cheap as our method for producing energy,” says Strem, “we fully intend to change the world.” Proton Technologies Inc. is currently testing Hygenic Earth Energy technology in Saskatchewan, and believes they will see their first hydrogen sales within the year, with the construction of their first oxygen plant beginning by the end of 2020.


For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary


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